Deschutes River, Lower

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GAGE
TIME
FT/CFS
℉/Turb
GRAPHS
9 am
4.65/82
7 30 year
9 am
2.84/4000
55.6
9 am
2.62/4500
63.9
06/01:

Salmonflies are fading, but golden stoneflies are still around. Green drakes might hatch on cloudy days, but this hatch is on the way out. JT at Deschutes Angler Fly Shop and John at Deschutes Canyon Fly Shop agree on this: little yellow stoneflies (yellow sallies) are around and trout are interested in them. So take some adult pattern and try them near the river bank and under overhanging trees.

John also notes that pale morning duns are hatching between 1:00-3:00 most days; hatches are not massive, but they are occuring and the trout care. You might still see some pale evening duns after 3:00; they are bigger than the PMDs.

Caddis season is underway. It used to happen in July, but now it happens in June. Expect a mix of spotted caddis (size 14-16) and saddle-case caddis (size 16-18) after 5:00. In the evening, you might do well with a dark Soft Hackle on a surface swing even if you don't see any bugs happening.

Importance by half-month
 Super    Major    Minor    Slight    None

Hatches are matched from Westfly's database of "standard" fly patterns.


Nymph

Size 16-18 Pheasant Tail, Hares Ear. Olive-brown

Riffles, flats, moderate runs: indicator, tight line, rising nymph, shallow nymph

Emerger

Size 16-18 Sprout Midge, Film Critic, Hackle Stacker. Pale yellow, light brown, or tan body; light wing

Flats, moderate runs, backeddies: standard dry fly

Dun

Size 16-18 Sparkle Dun, Hairwing Dun, Comparadun. Pale yellow, light brown, or tan body; light wing

Flats, moderate runs, backeddies: standard dry fly

Spinner

Size 16-18 Rusty Spinner. Light brownbbody; light wing

Flats, moderate runs, backeddies: standard dry fly

► Trout can get very selective on them, but they are not difficult to match with a size 18 pattern, such as a Sparkle Dun. However, anglers are more likely to imitate the wrong stage: trout will switch from nymphs to emergers to duns, lingering longer on each stage than most anglers expect.

► Hatches will be strongest when the weather stabilizes, which is often not until mid-month.

Emerger

Size 12-14 Soft Hackle, Film Critic, Hackle Stacker. Olive-brown, brown

Bankwater: surface swing

Dun

Size 12-14 Hairwing Dun, Comparadun, Sparkle Dun. Cream

Bankwater: standard dry fly

Pupa

Size 12-18 Soft Hackle, , Deep Sparkle Pupa. Body: tan, green; Shroud: tan

Riffles, runs, just below riffles: surface swing, shallow nymph

Adult

Size 12-18 Goddard Caddis, X Caddis, Parachute Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis. Body: brown, green, dark gray; Wing: tan, brown

Egg-layer

Size 12-18 Diving Caddis, Soft Hackle. Body: brown; Wing: black

Riffles, current seams, backeddies below riffles: surface swing, shallow nymph, rising nymph

► By mid-month, you can expect pupa imitations to work in the morning when dead-drifted near the bottom.

► Look for afternoon and evening hatches in soft water below riffles. Several species are active, so try to match the size and color of whatever is hatching. If you carry adult patterns in size 14 (tan, olive) and size 16-18 (brown or dark gray) you will cover many situations. Throw in some Sparkle Pupas of similar size and color and some size 14-16 brown Soft Hackles; that will cover most caddis situations you will encounter.

Nymph

Size 6-8 Kaufmanns Stonefly, Rubber Legs. Tan, yellow-tan

Riffles, moderate-fast runs; just below these: indicator, tight line

Adult

Bankwater near foilage: standard dry fly, skating

► Everything that's said for salmonflies applies to golden stoneflies as well.

Nymph

Size 6-10 Kaufmanns Stonefly, Rubber Legs. Black, chocolate brown

Riffles, moderate-fast runs; just below these: indicator, tight line

Adult

Bankwater near foilage: standard dry fly

► In the hatch's late stages, you'll probably do best with dry flies that are either low-riding or slightly sunken.

► June used to be the strongest month for salmonflies, but now most of them hatch in May. But there will be remnants of the hatch for the first couple of weeks in June, and maybe later.

► Drift your dry fly through quiet water that is near overhanging vegetation, especially in the afternoon when the bugs and the wind are at their most active. Other good places: water that is two-four feet deep and flowing over boulders; or pocket water just behind boulders; or current seams where fast water meets slow; or drop-offs below riffles; or riffly water near deeper water.

Trout


► With summer weather, the White River could become a problem: very hot days will cause glacial melt that will ship tons of silt down the White River. Alternatively, heavy rains on the east slope of Mt. Hood will raise the White and silt will be borne downriver. In either case, the Deschutes--from its confluence with the White all the way to the Columbia--can become too murky for good fishing. It can take three or four days for the river to clear up after one of these "events." The best advice is to check with a local source.

► There's a lot happening on the Deschutes this month. The successful anglers are the ones who keep moving and keep changing flies to match shifting conditions.

► High but steady or decreasing flows are fishable, but once they get above 6500 cfs or so (Madras gage), it's hard to find good spots to fish. When flows are high, you should look for the same TYPE of water that you usually fish, but it may be in a different place. And there won't be as many places to fish as there are at lower flows.

Green drakes are not prolific here, but when they hatch they will get the interest of trout. Try a cripple pattern such as the Green Drake Cripple.

► Hatches of yellow quills (Epeorus mayflies) can be locally important in mid-June. These mayflies are often mistaken for either pale morning duns or pale evening duns. The yellow quills are about size 12 and have a yellow wing, not tan or smoky gray. The dun often emerges underwater, then floats to the surface, where it dries its wings. Trout usually take them while they're still underwater, so a good fly choice is a yellow-bodied Soft Hackle in size 12 or 14. They are usually found just downstream from a patch of whitewater.
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